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Fridley Public Schools

The Minnesota School Board Directors of Color and Indigenous (MNSBDOCI) announced Fridley Public Schools Superintendent Kim Hiel as the winner of their annual Lighthouse Award at the annual Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) Annual Leadership Conference on January 12, 2023. 

“Dr. Hiel’s educational expertise and experience has been a great asset to our district, of course,” said Fridley School Board Chair Ross Meisner. “Just as importantly, her history and focus on inclusion and equity has had a material impact on the everyday experience of our staff and students. In such a wonderfully diverse district as Fridley, that kind of leadership and wisdom is essential. The board deeply appreciates everything Dr. Hiel brings to our community.”  

The Lighthouse Award is an annual award given to one superintendent and one school board member that has demonstrated a commitment to racial equity in their district, serving as a beacon of light and hope in the journey toward racial justice in education for all students. 

Dr. Hiel was selected as the 2022 Superintendent Lighthouse winner due to her maturity and leadership among her peers across the metro. “Her knowledge of systems of education and operations positions her well to lead,” MSBA said in a press release. “Her example is a beacon to aspiring administrators.”

"A huge congratulations to our superintendent, Dr. Kim Hiel for this well-deserved recognition," said Dr. Abdisalam Adam, vice chair of the Fridley school board and MNSBDOCI member. "Dr. Hiel is a tireless champion for the equitable education of our students. She has dedicated a tremendous amount of attention to ensuring each and every student has the opportunity to reach their educational goals."

The Minnesota School Board Directors of Color and Indigenous is a fellowship group comprised of various school board members from the state of Minnesota. Their mission is to foster excellence in good governance, support effective leadership, and prepare school board members from diverse communities to champion high-quality public education while acknowledging the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of Minnesota students and families. The group was formed in 2016 and meets monthly. Learn more at